THE ELSON READERS
WILLIAM H. ELSON AND CHRISTINE M. KECK
This book is based on the belief that an efficient reader for the fifth grade must score high when tested on five fundamental features: quality of literature; variety of literature; organization of literature; quantity of literature; and definite helps sufficient to make the text a genuine tool for classroom use.
First among these features is the essential that the foundation of the book must be the acknowledged masterpieces of American and British authors. American boys and girls may be depended upon to read current magazines and newspapers, but if they are ever to have their taste and judgment of literary values enriched by familiarity with the classics of our literature, the schools must provide the opportunity. This ideal does not mean the exclusion of well established present-day writers, but it does mean that the core of the school reader should be the rich literary heritage that has won recognition for its enduring value. Moreover, these masterpieces must come to the pupil in complete units, not in mere excerpts or garbled "cross-sections"; for the pupil in his school life should gain some real literary possessions.
A study of the contents of The Elson Readers, Book Five, will show how consistently its authors have based the book on this sound test of quality. The works of the acknowledged "makers" of our literature have been abundantly drawn upon to furnish a foundation of great stories and poems, gripping in interest and well within the powers of child-appreciation in this grade.
Variety of Literature:
Variety is fundamental to a well-rounded course of reading. If the school reader is to provide for all the purposes that a collection of literature for this grade should serve, it must contain material covering at least the following types: (1) literature representing both British and American authors; (2) some of the best modern poetry and prose as well as the literature of the past; (3) important race stories—great epics—and world-stories of adventure; (4) patriotic literature, rich in ideals of home and country, loyalty and service, thrift, cooperation, and citizenship—ideals of which American children gained, during the World War, a new conception that the school reader should perpetuate; (5) literature suited to festival occasions, particularly those celebrated in the schools: Armistice Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas, Arbor Day and Bird Day, anniversaries of the birthdays of Lincoln and Washington, as well as of Longfellow and other great American authors; (6) literature of the seasons, Nature, and out-of-door life; (7) literature of humor that will enliven the reading and cultivate the power to discriminate between wholesome humor—an essential part of life—and crude humor, so prevalent in the pupil's outside reading; (8) adventure stories both imaginative and real; (9) literature suited to dramatization, providing real project material.
This book offers a well-rounded course of reading covering all the types mentioned above. Especially by means of groups of stories and poems that portray love of home and its festivals, love of our free country and its flag, and unselfish service to others, this book makes a stirring appeal to good citizenship. Moreover, it will be noted that wholesome ethical ideals pervade the literature throughout.
Organization of Literature:
The literature of a school reader, if it is to do effective work, must be purposefully organized. Sound organization groups into related units the various selections that center about a common theme. This arrangement enables the pupil to see the larger dominant ideas of the book as a whole, instead of looking upon it as a confused scrapbook of miscellaneous selections. Such arrangement also fosters literary comparison by bringing together selections having a common theme or authorship.
This book has been so organized as to fulfill these purposes. There are three main Parts, each distinguished by unity of theme or authorship. Part I, leading from a wholesome appreciation of Nature, particularly in its American setting, centers mainly about the important themes of patriotism, service, and good citizenship; Part II introduces some of the great tales that typify our love of stirring deeds; Part III presents some of our greatest American authors at sufficient length to make them stand out to the pupil. Through these grouped selections, together with the accompanying biographies, pupils may come to be familiar with and love some of the great company of writers that have made the name of America known in the world of literature.
Attention is called to three special features that keep the dominant theme of each Part clearly in the foreground: (1) "A Forward Look" and "A Backward Look" for each main division and important subdivisions emphasize the larger theme, and show how each selection contributes to the group-idea (see pages 19, 56, etc.); (2) the Notes and Questions frequently call the pupil's attention to the relation the selection bears to the main thought (see pages 39, 75, etc.); (3) the three main divisions, and the subordinate groups within each main unit, are made to stand out clearly by illustrations that typify the theme (see pages 18, 21, etc.) and by topical headings that enable the pupil to visualize the group-units. By these three means the organization of the book is emphasized, and fundamental ideals are kept dominant.
Quality of Literature:
Obviously, a book that is to supply the pupil with a year's course in literature must be a generous volume. Variety is impossible without quantity, especially where literary wholes rather than mere fragmentary excerpts are offered. Particularly is this true when complete units are included not only for intensive study, but also for extensive reading—longer units, of the so-called "paper classics" type, to be read mainly for the story-element. In bulk such units should be as large as the pupil can control readily in rapid silent reading, a kind of reading that increases the power to enjoy with intelligence a magazine or a book.
The Elson Readers, Book Five, is a generous volume in provision for these needs. Its inclusiveness makes possible a proper balance between prose and poetry, between long and short selections, and between material for intensive and extensive reading.
If the pupil is to gain the full benefit from his reading, certain definite helps must be provided. An efficient reader must score a high test not only on the fundamentals of quality, variety, organization and quantity of literature, but also on its fitness as a tool for classroom use. The effectiveness of this Reader as such a tool may be indicated by the following distinguishing features:
(1) A distinctive introduction, "The Crystal Glass" (see page 13), gives the pupil an illuminating interpretation of the organization and literary content of the volume.
(2) Definite suggestions for developing speed and concentration in silent reading. (See pages 21, 30, 34, 163, etc.)
(3) A comprehensive Glossary (pages 399-418) contains the words and phrases that offer valuable vocabulary training, either of pronunciation or meaning. The teacher is free to use the Glossary according to the needs of her particular class, but suggestive type words and phrases are listed under Notes and Questions.
(4) A complete program of study, "How to Gain the Full Benefit from Your Reading" (pages 28, 29), gives a concise explanation of the various helps found in the book.
(5) The helps to study are more than mere notes; they aid in making significant the larger purposes of the literature. These "Notes and Questions" include:
(a) Biographies of the authors, that supply data for interpreting the stories and poems; particularly helpful are those of Part III;
(b) Historical settings, wherever they are necessary to the intelligent understanding of the selection (see pages 94, 105, etc.);
(c) Questions and suggestions that present clearly the main idea, stimulate original discussion and comparison, and bring out modern parallels to the situations found in the selections;
(d) Words of everyday use frequently mispronounced, listed, for study under "Discussion" (see page 29, etc.);
(e) Phrases that offer idiomatic difficulty; for convenience in locating these phrases the page and line numbers are indicated;
(f) Projects, individual and social.
PREFACE SUGGESTIONS FOR AN ORDER OF READING THE CRYSTAL GLASS
NATURE—HUMOR—HOME AND COUNTRY
THE WORLD OF NATURE
A Forward Look
Turk, The Faithful Dog Samuel White Baker Our Uninvited Guest Ernest Harold Baynes Hunting The American Buffalo Theodore Roosevelt
BIRDS AND THEIR SONGS
The Birds And I Liberty H. Bailey The Brown Thrush Lucy Larcom Sing On, Blithe Bird William Motherwell
The Violet And The Bee John B. Tabb Four-Leaf Clovers Ella Higginson Jack In The Pulpit Clara Smith
TIMES AND SEASONS
September Helen Hunt Jackson October's Bright Blue Weather Helen Hunt Jackson November Alice Cary Today Thomas Carlyle The Night Has A Thousand Eyes Francis Bourdillon
A Backward Look
STORIES IN LIGHTER VEIN
A Forward Look
Adventures of Munchausen R. E. Raspe The Blind Men and the Elephant John G. Saxe Darius Green John T. Trowbridge Birthday Greetings Lewis Carroll The Wind and The Moon George Macdonald
A Backward Look
HOME AND COUNTRY
A Forward Look
HOME AND ITS FESTIVALS
Home, Sweet Home John Howard Payne The Grapevine Swing Samuel Minturn Peck Lullaby of an Infant Chief Sir Walter Scott The First Thanksgiving Day Margaret Junkin Preston A Visit from St. Nicholas Clement C. Moore
OUR COUNTRY AND ITS FLAG
The Land of Liberty (Author Unknown) The Flag of Our Country Charles Sumner The Name of Old Glory James Whitcomb Riley The Star-Spangled Banner Francis Scott Key The Boyhood of Lincoln Elbridge S. Brooks Washington with Braddock Elbridge S. Brooks
Somebody's Mother (Author Unknown) The Leak in the Dike Phoebe Cary Casablanca Felicia Hemans Tubal Cain Charles Mackay The Inchcape Rock Robert Southey My Boyhood on the Prairie Hamlin Garland Woodman, Spare That Tree George P. Morris The American Boy Theodore Roosevelt
A Backward Look
STORIES OF ADVENTURE
A Forward Look
STORIES FROM THE ARABIAN NIGHTS
Aladdin, or The Wonderful Lamp Ali Baba and the Open Sesame Sindbad The Sailor
Robin Hood Joseph Walker McSpadden Gulliver's Travels Jonathan Swift Robinson Crusoe Daniel Defoe
A Backward Look
GREAT AMERICAN AUTHORS
A Forward Look
Biography The Whistle An Ax to Grind
WILLIAM GULLEN BRYANT
Biography The Yellow Violet The Gladness of Nature
JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER
Biography The Huskers The Corn-Song
Biography Capturing the Wild Horse The Adventure of the Mason
HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW
Biography The Arrow and the Song The Children's Hour The Song of Hiawatha
Biography The Paradise of Children The Golden Touch
A Backward Look
SUGGESTIONS FOR AN ORDER OF READING
In The Elson Readers selections are grouped according to theme or authorship. Such an arrangement enables the pupil to see the dominant ideas of the book as a whole. This purpose is further aided by A Forward Look, or introduction, and A Backward Look, or review, for each main group. The book, therefore, emphasizes certain fundamental ideals, making them stand out clearly in the mind of the pupil. This result can best be accomplished by reading all the selections of a group in the order given, before taking up those of a different group. The order of the groups, however, may be varied to suit school conditions or preferences.
It goes without saying that selections particularly suited to the celebration of special days will be read in connection with such festival occasions. For example, "The First Thanksgiving Day," page 92, will be read immediately before the Thanksgiving holiday, even if the class at that particular time is in the midst of some other main part of the Reader. Before assigning a selection out of order, however, the teacher should scrutinize the notes and questions, to make certain that no references are made within these notes to a discussion in A Forward Look or to other selections in the group that pupils have not yet read. In case such references are found the teacher may well conduct a brief class discussion to make these questions significant to the pupils.
It is the belief of the authors that the longer selections, such as those found in Part II, should be read silently and reported on in class. In this way the monotony incident to the reading of such selections aloud in class will be avoided. However, the class will wish to read aloud certain passages from these longer units because of their beauty, their dramatic quality, or the forceful way in which the author has expressed his thoughts. Class readings are frequently suggested for this purpose. In this way reading aloud is given purposefulness.
THE CRYSTAL GLASS
Once upon a time, as the fairy tale has it, there was a mighty magician named Merlin. He was the teacher of the young Prince Arthur, who was one day to become the British King. Merlin was old and wise, and he had the power of prophecy. One of his most wonderful possessions was a magic glass, a globe of crystal, into which one might gaze and see distant places as if they were near at hand, and see the events of past and future as if they were happening right before his eyes.
No one knows now the whereabouts of this wonder-working crystal, or what was its appearance. Very likely it seemed ordinary enough, though a glass of curious shape. Only those who knew how to use it could learn its secrets; for all others it had no power. But the magic that once lay in it has been given to certain books, which, like Merlin's globe, are filled with mysterious power. Such a book you now hold in your hands. If you do not understand how to use it, it will tell you nothing. But if you have this understanding, you have only to look within these pages, and past and present and future will be unfolded to your gaze.
Here is what you will find if you use this book as a Merlin's glass wherein to see the wonders which lie concealed within it.
First of all, you will see the world of animals and birds and flowers and times and seasons—the world of Nature. There is a story about a little girl who wanted to see the King to ask of him a favor. But no one could see him unless he was accompanied by some friends, for the King would not trust anyone unless he had proved himself friendly so that people loved to be with him. Now this little girl was very poor, and she had no friends. She wandered alone in the forest, and cried because she had no friends. Just at this time she came into the knowledge of a wonderful secret by which she could understand the language of the birds and of all the shy animals of the forest, and as soon as she could understand them and talk with them, they loved her, and the forest was no longer a lonely place but was filled with friends. Some of these friends went with her to the King's palace, and she now had no difficulty. She knew the language of those who lived in the forest, and she was no longer poor and lonely. So in the pages of this book you will learn of the lives of faithful dogs and huge buffaloes, and the brown thrush will sing for you a song full of meaning. The modest violet, the jack-in-the-pulpit, even the four-leaf clovers will tell you stories about the forest and the field, so that wherever you walk you will be surrounded by your friends. The magic glass of Merlin will unseal for you this world of Nature.
Merlin's globe also enables you to look into the past and live in it as if it were the present. You will take part in the first Thanksgiving Day. You will learn why the flag of our country is called Old Glory. You will look in upon the boy Lincoln, tired after his hard day's work on the farm, reading by the open fire in his father's cabin. You will see the young Washington bravely helping General Braddock to save his soldiers. So the magic glass of reading will make the early history of our country real to you, and the past will no longer be the past but a part of your present life.
If you wish to live for a time in the fairy realm, where there are buried treasure chests or magic lamps and rings, or if you would like to make a journey to far-off lands where are many wonders, you have only to look in this magic glass, and in a twinkling you are whisked away. You find yourself in a strange country where men and women wear curious, flowing garments of many colors, where trees and animals are unfamiliar, and where queer buildings with many towers attract your delighted eyes. The narrow streets are filled with strange life. You see a boy with eyes that seem to be looking on strange things. He is talking with an evil-looking man who bends over him, pointing down the street and out into the open country at the other end of the town. And presently the boy goes with the stranger, and you follow, for it is Aladdin and the magician, and you wish to know the adventure that is to come.
After this, Ali Baba and the cave of buried treasure and the forty thieves and Morgiana, the shrewd slave-girl, and the jars of oil will all appear in the magic glass, and another series of marvelous adventures will be disclosed to you. And then again, you come to a rich man's home, and before it, gazing enviously at it, is a poor tramp. Go up the steps with him and look upon the feast within the house. There is a queer table filled with food of strange form. And there is the rich man, Sindbad the Sailor, and you may listen if you will to his stories of travel to marvelous lands. Thus you travel to the mysterious East, without effort. You take part in wonderful adventures, without danger. Your magic glass is the window through which a world of fairy magic gleams vividly.
At another time you look, and the glass shows an English scene. It is the greenwood, somewhat out from London. Never were trees so green, or flowers so fresh and gay, or birds so filled with joy. You listen, and a gay fellow sings,
"Under the greenwood tree Who loves to lie with me, And tune his merry note Unto the sweet bird's throat,
"Come hither! come hither! come hither! Here shall he see No enemy But winter and rough weather."
Presently you hear the sound of a horn deep in the forest, to be followed soon by the coming of a merry crowd. Here is the prince of outlaws, clad in Lincoln green and followed by a score of lusty fellows, and at once there are songs, wrestling matches, and merry jests, till your heart is filled with joy. Little John, and the Sheriff of Nottingham, and Friar Tuck, and Robin Hood, and last of all, the King himself—these are the actors in the play that you see through your magic glass. And so it goes through all these stories of adventure—they become a part of your experience, and you live more lives than one. Last of all, your magic glass, which is this book, and which is always ready to do you service when you call upon it, will introduce you to a group of great Americans who long ago learned these secrets and wrote down what they themselves had seen. A patriot who helped to make our America will tell you several stories of his childhood. A Nature-loving poet will tell you about flowers and birds. Another poet will furnish stories about merry times on the farm. A third will tell you legends of the Indians. Once more the world of Nature, the world of adventure, and the world of history and legend will open before you, but this time you will learn something also of the men who have lived in our America and have written about it in such way as to show us that, after all, we need no marvelous Eastern country or desert islands—there is adventure enough and to spare all about us, if we have eyes to see.
And here is the greatest charm of all. It is good to know about this magic glass of reading, so that we shall never want for the joy it can bring. But while we use it, we shall find our sight made pure and strong, so that when we no longer have the crystal globe, we can walk in field and wood, and along our streets, and see, wondering, the beauty of the world in which we live.
NATURE—HUMOR—HOME AND COUNTRY
Better—a thousand times better—than all the material wealth the world can give is the love for the best books.
THE WORLD OF NATURE
A FORWARD LOOK
If we have eyes to see, the world of Nature is a fairyland. Further on in this book you will read how Aladdin—a boy who was led by a magician to a cave in which were all kinds of wonderful objects—came upon a garden underground wherein grew trees filled with extraordinary fruit. "Each tree bore fruit of a different color," we are told: "The white were pearls; the sparkling were diamonds; the deep red were rubies; the green, emeralds; the blue, turquoises."
Now with this compare a story about a great American author, Ralph Waldo Emerson. Emerson loved all the forms of Nature. He wrote of the bee, of the wild flowers, of the storm, of the snowbird, and of running waters. And in talking of the magic of a river he reminds us of Aladdin's fairy fruits:
"I see thy brimming, eddying stream And thy enchantment, For thou changest every rock in thy bed Into a gem. All is opal and agate, And at will thou pavest with diamonds."
Now we may suppose that Aladdin often waded through the brook and noticed the shining pebbles and heard the tinkling music of the water as it rippled over stones in the stream. He noticed the pebbles, but did not look at them. He heard the murmur of the waters, but he did not listen. But when the magician uttered his magic words, and the earth opened, and Aladdin saw a little ladder leading down into a deep cave, and in that cave found curious trees bearing curious fruits, he was so surprised that he looked more closely, and all that he saw was full of wonder. Now the poet is like the magician. His words open the door of enchantment for us if we care to enter.
For the poets have been lovers of Nature, and they help us to see the beauty that lies about us. One of them calls the stars "the forget-me-nots of the angels." Another writes of the song of the brook as it goes dancing and singing down into the river, until we hear the music of the waters in the melody of the poet's verse. Through such stories and poems of animals and birds and flowers and of the seasons of the year as you will find in the following pages, your magic glass of reading will open up the fairyland of Nature.
For magic wonders are not limited to the fairylands that we read about in the Arabian Nights or in the tales of Cinderella or of the Sleeping Beauty. There is the enchantment which put the princess and all her household to sleep for a hundred years until the prince came to release them. There is also the enchantment of the frost, that stills all the life of brook and lake and river, and holds the outdoor world in deep sleep until the breath of spring comes and releases the prisoners. There is the enchantment which Aladdin controlled by his lamp and his ring, so that at his bidding giant figures appeared to do his will; there is also the enchantment of the snow, of the fire, of the lightning, of the storm; or there is the equally marvelous enchantment by which the rose unfolds from the bud, the apple grows from the blossom, and the robin from the tiny blue egg. Only we must see and listen when the magicians lead us to the fairy world of Nature. Aladdin had passed the entrance to the magic cave a hundred times and had seen nothing. So men pass the fields and see nothing but the corn and the wheat and the cotton, and in the autumn they see the harvesters gathering the crops of the fields. But the poet looks on these same fields and gathers another crop from them, and this he puts into a song, and this song opens for us the world of Nature.
TURK, THE FAITHFUL
Samuel White Baker
When I was a boy, my grandfather frequently told a story concerning a dog which he knew, as an example of true fidelity. This animal was a mastiff that belonged to a friend, Mr. Prideaux, to whom it was a constant companion. Whenever Mr. Prideaux went out for a walk, Turk was sure to be near his heels. Street dogs would bark and snarl at the giant as his massive form attracted their attention, but Turk seldom noticed them. At night he slept outside his master's door, and no sentry could be more alert upon his watch than the faithful dog.
One day Mr. Prideaux had a dinner party. The dog Turk was present, and stretched his huge form upon the hearthrug. It was a cold night in winter, and Mr. Prideaux's friends after dinner began to discuss the subject of dogs. Almost every person had an anecdote to relate, and my own grandfather, being present, had no doubt added his mite to the collection, when Turk suddenly awoke from a sound sleep, and having stretched himself, walked up to his master's side and rested his large head upon the table. "Ha, ha, Turk!" exclaimed Mr. Prideaux, "you must have heard our arguments about the dogs, so you have put in an appearance."
"And a magnificent animal he is!" remarked my grandfather; "but although a mastiff is the largest of dogs, I do not think it is as sensible as many others."
"As a rule you are right," replied his master, "because they are generally chained up as watch-dogs, and have not the intimate association with human beings which is so great an advantage to house-dogs; but Turk has been my constant companion from the first month of his life, and his intelligence is very remarkable. He understands most things that I say, if they are connected with himself; he will often lie upon the rug with his large eyes fixed upon me, and he will frequently become aware that I wish to go out; at such times he will fetch my hat, cane, or gloves, whichever may be at hand, and wait for me at the front door. He will take a letter to several houses of my acquaintance, and wait for a reply; and he can perform a variety of actions that would imply a share of reason seldom possessed by other dogs."
A smile upon several faces was at once noticed by Mr. Prideaux, who immediately took a guinea from his pocket, and said to his dog, "Here, Turk! They won't believe in you! Take this guinea to No.—Street, to Mr.—, and bring me a receipt."
The dog wagged his huge tail with pleasure, and the guinea having been placed in his mouth, he hastened toward the door; this being opened, he was admitted through the front entrance to the street. It was a miserable night.
The wind was blowing the sleet and rain against the windows, and the gutters were running with muddy water; nevertheless, Turk had started upon his mission in the howling gale, while the front door was once more closed against the blast.
The party were comfortably seated around the fire, much interested in the success or failure of the dog's adventure.
"How long will it be before we may expect Turk's return?" inquired a guest.
"The house to which I have sent him is about a mile and a half distant; therefore, if there is no delay when he barks for admission at the door, and my friend is not absent from home, he should return in about three-quarters of an hour with a receipt. If, on the other hand, he cannot gain admission, he may wait for any length of time," replied his master.
Some among the company supported the dog's chances of success, while others were against him. The evening wore away; the allotted time was exceeded, and a whole hour had passed, but no dog had returned. Nevertheless, his master was still hopeful.
"I must tell you," said Mr. Prideaux, "that Turk frequently carries notes for me, and as he knows the house well, he certainly will not make a mistake; perhaps my friend may be dining out, in which case, Turk will probably wait for a longer time."
Two hours passed; the storm was raging. Mr. Prideaux himself went to the front door, which flew open before a fierce gust the instant that the lock was turned. The gutters were clogged with masses of half-melted snow. "Poor Turk!" muttered his master, "this is indeed a wretched night for you. Perhaps they have kept you in the warm kitchen, and will not allow you to return in such fearful weather."
When Mr. Prideaux returned to his guests, he could not conceal his disappointment. "Ha!" exclaimed one, "with a guinea in his mouth, he has probably gone into some house of entertainment where dogs are supplied with dinner and a warm bed, instead of shivering in a winter's gale!" Jokes were made at the absent dog's expense, but his master was anxious and annoyed. Poor Turk's reputation had suffered severely.
It was long past midnight; the guests had departed, the storm was raging, and violent gusts occasionally shook the house. Mr. Prideaux was alone in his study, and he poked the fire until it blazed and roared up the chimney. "What can have become of that dog?" exclaimed his master to himself, now really anxious; "I hope they kept him; most likely they would not send him back upon such a dreadful night."
Mr. Prideaux's study was close to the front door, and his attention was suddenly directed to a violent shaking and scratching. In an instant he ran into the hall and unlocked the entrance door. A mass of filth and mud entered. This was Turk!
The dog was shivering with wet and cold. His usually clean coat was thick with mire, as though he had been dragged through deep mud. He wagged his tail when he heard his master's voice, but appeared dejected and ill. The dog was taken downstairs, and immediately placed in a large tub of hot water, in which he was accustomed to be bathed. It was now discovered that in addition to mud and dirt, which almost concealed his coat, he was besmeared with blood! Mr. Prideaux sponged his favorite with warm water, and, to his surprise, he saw wounds of a serious nature; the dog's throat was badly torn, his back and breast were deeply bitten, and there could be no doubt that he had been worried by a pack of dogs.
He was now washed clean, and was being rubbed dry with a thick towel while he stood upon a blanket before the fire. "Why, Turk, old boy, what has been the matter? Tell us all about it, poor old man!" exclaimed his master.
The dog was now thoroughly warmed and he panted with the heat of the kitchen fire; he opened his mouth, and the guinea which he had received in trust dropped on the kitchen floor!
"There is some mystery in this," said Mr. Prideaux, "which I will try to discover tomorrow. He has been set upon by strange dogs, and rather than lose the guinea, he has allowed himself to be half killed without once opening his mouth in self-defense! Poor Turk!" continued his master, "you must have lost your way old man, in the darkness and storm; most likely confused after the unequal fight. What an example you have given us in being faithful to a trust!"
Turk was wonderfully better after his warm bath. He lapped up a large bowl of good thick soup mixed with bread, and in half an hour was comfortably asleep upon his thick rug by his master's bedroom door.
THE MYSTERY EXPLAINED
Upon the following morning the storm had cleared away, and a bright sky had succeeded to the gloom of the preceding night. Immediately after breakfast Mr. Prideaux, accompanied by his dog (which was, although rather stiff, not much the worse for the rough treatment he had received), started for a walk toward the house to which he had directed Turk upon the previous evening. He was anxious to discover whether his friend had been absent, as he believed that the dog might have been waiting for admittance, and had been perhaps attacked by some dogs in the neighborhood.
The master and Turk had walked for nearly a mile, and had just turned the corner of a street, when, as they passed a butcher's shop, a large brindled mastiff rushed from the shop-door and flew at Turk.
"Call your dog off!" shouted Mr. Prideaux to the butcher, who watched the attack with impudent satisfaction. "Call him off, or my dog will kill him!" continued Mr. Prideaux.
The usually docile Turk had rushed to meet his assailant with a fury that was extraordinary. With a growl like that of a lion he quickly seized his foe by the throat, and in a fierce struggle of only a few seconds he threw the brindled dog upon his back. It was in vain that Mr. Prideaux tried to call him off; he never for an instant relaxed his hold, but with the strength of a wild beast of prey Turk shook the head of the butcher's dog to the right and left. The butcher attempted to interfere and lashed him with a huge whip. "Stand clear! fair play! Don't you strike my dog!" shouted Mr. Prideaux. "Your dog was the first to attack!" Mr. Prideaux seized Turk by his collar, while the butcher was endeavoring to release his dog from the deadly grip. At length Mr. Prideaux's voice and action appeared for a moment to create a calm, and he held back his dog. Turk's flanks were heaving with the intense exertion and excitement of the fight, and he strained to escape from his master's hold to attack once more his enemy. At length, by kind words and the caress of the well-known hand, his fury was calmed down.
"Well, that's the most curious adventure I've ever had with a dog!" exclaimed the butcher who was now completely crestfallen. "Why, that's the very dog! That's the very dog that came by my shop late last night in the howling storm, and my dog Tiger went at him and tousled him up completely. I never saw such a cowardly cur; he wouldn't show any fight, although he was pretty near as big as a donkey; and there my dog Tiger nearly ate half of him, and dragged the other half about the gutter, till he looked more like an old door-mat than dog; and I thought he must have killed him; and here he comes out as fresh as paint today."
"What do you say?" asked Mr. Prideaux. "Was it your dog that worried my poor dog last night when he was upon a message of trust? My friend, let me inform you of the fact that my dog had a guinea in his mouth to carry to my friend, and rather than drop it, he allowed himself to be half killed by your savage Tiger. Today he has proved his courage, and your dog has discovered his mistake. This is the guinea that he dropped from his mouth when he returned to me after midnight, beaten and distressed!" said Mr. Prideaux, much excited. "Here, Turk, old boy, take the guinea again, and come along with me! You have had your revenge, and have given us all a lesson." His master gave him the guinea in his mouth, and they continued their walk.
It appeared, upon Mr. Prideaux's arrival at his friend's house, that Turk had never been there; probably after his defeat he had become so confused that he lost his way in the heavy storm, and had at length regained the road home some time after midnight, in the condition already described.
How to Gain the Full Benefit from Your Reading
The reading of this story, besides giving you pleasure, has no doubt given you a new idea of the faithfulness often shown by dogs. But if you are to get the full benefit from any story or poem in this Reader, you will need to pause long enough to notice certain things that will give you a better understanding of it.
The Crystal Glass, A Forward Look, and A Backward Look.
First, you should read and discuss in class "The Crystal Glass" and study the Table of Contents, to gain a general idea of the book as a whole. Next, you should notice that each story and poem is a part of some special group that treats of some one big idea—such as Nature, Home and Country, etc. Each selection will have a fuller meaning for you if you understand how it helps to bring out the big idea of this group. Before reading the stories in any group you should read and discuss in class the "Forward Look" (see page 19) that precedes them. And after you have read all the selections in a group, you will enjoy a pleasant class period discussing the "Backward Look"—taking stock, as it were, of the joy and benefit gained from your reading.
In addition, each selection is followed by Notes and Questions that contain some or all of the following features: Biography. First, it is always desirable to learn something about the author. When you read, for example, that Samuel White Baker gave the best years of his life to a study of animals, you feel that his story of the dog's faithfulness is well worth reading. Discussion. Next, if you will read the story so carefully that you can answer the questions given under the topic Discussion, you will probably find it easier to understand certain incidents. For example, you hear much about the word "service" in the different wars in which American soldiers have served their country so nobly. But perhaps when you think of the answer to the third question you will see more clearly than before that "service" and "faithfulness" are qualities that are shown not only on the battlefield but in humble walks of life—sometimes even by animals. Glossary. One of the benefits that should result from reading is the learning of new words. At the end of the Discussion you will find a list of words, the meaning of which you are to look up in the Glossary, and a second list that you should find out how to pronounce. Many of these words you may feel certain you know how to pronounce correctly. But perhaps you have been mispronouncing some of them. Look up in the glossary the words listed under question 9, and you may find that you have been mispronouncing calm, hearth, or extraordinary. When you are looking up words in the pronunciation lists, be sure that you understand the meaning, also. Besides the individual words that you do not understand, you will sometimes read a phrase, or group of words, used in some special sense. The most striking are listed under the topic Phrases for Study. Look them up in the Glossary, for you will often find the hardest passage of the reading lesson made easy by the explanation of a single phrase.
NOTES AND QUESTIONS
Biography. Samuel White Baker (1821-1893) was an English engineer and author. At the age of twenty-four he went to Ceylon, where he soon became known as an explorer and hunter of big game. With his wife he later explored the region of the Nile River. He is the author of True Tales for My Grandsons, from which "Turk, the Faithful Dog" is taken.
Discussion. 1. How does this story prove the intelligence of Turk? 2. How does it prove his fidelity? 3. Here are two qualities that every man should desire to possess; do you think many men, set upon by robbers, would act as bravely and as faithfully as Turk? Give reasons for your answer. 4. What do you know of the author? 5. Class readings: The conversation between Mr. Prideaux and the butcher, (2 pupils). 6. Outline for testing silent reading. Tell the story in your own words, using these topics: (a) Turk's adventure; (b) how the mystery was explained. 7. You will enjoy reading "Cap, the Red Cross Dog" (in Stories for Children, Faulkner). 8. Find in the Glossary the meaning of: alert; mission; dejected; besmeared; brindled; docile; relaxed; crestfallen. 9. Pronounce: hearthrug; anecdote; guinea; toward; extraordinary; calm.
Phrases for Study:
intimate association, of a serious nature, imply a share of reason, received in trust, supported the dog's chances, succeeded to the gloom.
OUR UNINVITED GUEST
Ernest Harold Baynes
"Jimmy," our young black bear, was known to every child in the neighborhood. If a children's vote had been taken for the most popular animal in the county, I believe that Jimmy would have been unanimously elected. If the grown people had held the election, however, it is certain that there would have been some votes against him. For example, when Mr. W—, one of our neighbors, came home very late one night, got into bed in the dark, and unwittingly kicked a bear cub that had climbed in at a window earlier in the evening, of course he had his toes nipped. That man would never have voted for Jimmy.
Neither would the farmer's wife he met one evening coming from the barn with a pail of new milk. The weather was warm, Jimmy was thirsty, and he was particularly fond of new milk. So he stood on his hind legs, threw his arms around the pail, and sucked up half the contents before the good woman had recovered from her astonishment. But with the children he was a great favorite. He was one of them, and they understood him. Like them he was full of fun and mischief, and he would play as long as anyone cared to play with him.
One Christmas we gave a children's party, and perhaps a score of girls and boys came to spend the evening. As it was not possible to make Jimmy understand about the party, he went to bed early, as usual, and was asleep in his own den under the porch long before the first guests arrived. He was not forgotten by his little friends, however, and "Where's Jimmy?" was the first question asked by almost every child as he came in. But there was so much to chatter about, and there were so many games to play, that absent comrades—even Jimmy—were soon out of mind.
At last supper was ready, and all the children trooped into the dining-room and took their places at the long table.
For a little while everyone was so busy that there was little to be heard except the clatter of forks and spoons and plates. I stood at the end of the room, enjoying the fun. For the moment, my eyes were on a small boy who seemed to be enjoying himself even more than the rest. He was making more noise than anyone else, and at the same time performing remarkable sleight-of-mouth tricks with a large piece of cake and a plate of ice cream. Suddenly, I saw his face change. His laugh was cut in two, his smile faded, the remains of the cake fell to his plate, and a spoonful of ice cream, on its way to his open mouth, remained suspended in the air. He was facing a window, and as I followed his gaze, I saw a hairy black face, with a tawny muzzle and a pair of small shining black eyes, looking eagerly into the room. It was the bear cub, whose slumbers had been disturbed by the noise, and who had come to see what it was all about.
In an instant the room was in an uproar. All the children left the table at once, and crowded around the window yelling—"Jimmy!" "It's Jimmy!" "Let him in!" "Don't you do it!" "Keep him out!" "Open the window!" "Give him some cake!" One little boy, with a piece of cake in his hand, raised the window just a little. That was enough for Jimmy; he thrust his strong muzzle under the sash, raised it with one jerk of his head, and came tumbling into the room. How those children yelled and scattered! While they all thought it good fun to have the cub at the party, none of them knew just what he would do, and some; especially among the younger ones, were decidedly nervous. A small girl hid behind the window curtains, two little boys scurried upstairs and peeped through the banisters, and another, by means of a chair, scrambled to the top of a sideboard. But Jimmy had his own ideas about a party. His first interest was in the supper table. Standing up on his hind legs, he placed his forepaws on the cloth. Just in front of him was a plate with some apple jelly on it. One sweep of his long tongue and the plate was almost as clean as if it had been washed. A dish of blancmange was the next to be gobbled up, and then a boy rather bolder than the rest made an attempt to save the cake. He seized the intruder by the skin of his neck, but except for a loud, grumbling protest, the bear paid no attention to him. He walked right along, pulling the boy with him, and one slice of cake after another disappeared down the black throat. The little girl behind the curtains, seeing that Jimmy did not intend to hurt anyone, came from her hiding place to try to help the boy who was holding him. Now this little girl had been eating strawberry jam, and as little girls sometimes do, had left some of it on her lips. The moment she touched him, Jimmy turned, and seeing and smelling the jam, he caught the child in his short forearms, and in spite of her screams, licked her face all over before letting her go. Then he reached for the sugar basin, lifted it from the table with his paws, and sat down on his haunches to devour the contents.
By this time the children who had been nervous were quite at their ease again, and gathered round to see him eat the sugar. In a few moments he had satisfied his hunger, and was ready to play. First of all he acted as if he had lost his wits; or as if he wanted to "show off," which is about the same thing. He rolled over on his back, turned somersaults, and batted the chairs and the table legs with his paws. The children got down on the floor to romp with him, and together they had a merry time.
When they were all upon their feet again, Jimmy arose and stood perfectly straight on his hind legs. Then he picked out a girl about his own height and took a step toward her, raising his paws as though inviting her to a boxing match. The girl accepted the challenge, and as she was strong, she held her own very well for a time. But as Jimmy warmed up to his work, he became very rough and swung his heavy paws as hard as he could. At last he gave his playmate a stinging slap on the side of her face, and she decided not to play any more. And as I thought that Jimmy had had about enough fun for one evening, I opened the door, and he galloped off to his den under the porch.
NOTES AND QUESTIONS
Biography. Ernest Harold Baynes (1868-1925), the naturalist-author, lived in Meriden, New Hampshire. He was the author of the interesting book Wild Bird Guests, and of "Our Animal Allies" (in Harper's Magazine, January, 1921). During the World War I Mr. Baynes was in France, studying the part that birds and animals played in helping to win the war. Wherever he went he organized bird clubs, in order to protect our wild birds.
Discussion. 1. Why was Jimmy not popular with the farmer's wife? 2. Why do you think the children liked the bear? 3. Do you think they would have enjoyed the party more, or less, if there had been no "uninvited guest"? 4. Class readings: The description of the supper, page 31, line 7, to page 32, line 26. 5. Outline for testing silent reading. Tell the story of the "uninvited guest," using these topics: (a) the bear and how he was liked; (b) the bear's actions at the children's party; (c) the boxing match. 6. You will find interesting stories in Bear Stories Retold from St. Nicholas, Carter, and in The Biography of a Grizzly, Seton. 7. Find in the Glossary the meaning of: unanimously; unwittingly; sleight-of-mouth; tawny; muzzle; intruder. Pronounce: blancmange; haunches.
HUNTING THE AMERICAN BUFFALO
In the fall of 1889 I heard that a very few bison were still left around the head of Wisdom River. Thither I went and hunted faithfully; there was plenty of game of other kinds, but of bison not a trace did we see. Nevertheless, a few days later that same year I came across these great wild cattle at a time when I had no idea of seeing them.
It was, as nearly as we could tell, in Idaho, just south of the Montana boundary line, and some twenty-five miles west of the line of Wyoming. We were camped high among the mountains, with a small pack train. On the day in question we had gone out to find moose, but had seen no sign of them, and had then begun to climb over the higher peaks with an idea of getting sheep. The old hunter who was with me was, very fortunately, suffering from rheumatism, and he therefore carried a long staff instead of his rifle; I say fortunately, for if he had carried his rifle, it would have been impossible to stop his firing at such game as bison, nor would he have spared the cows and calves.
About the middle of the afternoon we crossed a low, rocky ridge, and saw at our feet a basin, or round valley, of singular beauty. Its walls were formed by steep mountains. At its upper end lay a small lake, bordered on one side by a meadow of emerald green. The lake's other side marked the edge of the frowning pine forest which filled the rest of the valley. Beyond the lake the ground rose in a pass much frequented by game in bygone days, their trails lying along it in thick zigzags, each gradually fading out after a few hundred yards, and then starting again in a little different place, as game trails so often seem to do.
We bent our steps toward these trails, and no sooner had we reached the first than the old hunter bent over it with a sharp exclamation of wonder. There in the dust, apparently but a few hours old, were the hoof-marks of a small band of bison. They were headed toward the lake. There had been half a dozen animals in the party; one a big bull, and two calves.
We immediately turned and followed the trail. It led down to the little lake, where the beasts had spread and grazed on the tender, green blades, and had drunk their fill. The footprints then came together again, showing where the animals had gathered and walked off in single file to the forest. Evidently they had come to the pool in the early morning, and after drinking and feeding had moved into the forest to find some spot for their noontide rest.
It was a very still day, and there were nearly three hours of daylight left. Without a word my silent companion, who had been scanning the whole country with hawk-eyed eagerness, took the trail, motioning me to follow. In a moment we entered the woods, breathing a sigh of relief as we did so; for while in the meadow we could never tell that the buffalo might not see us, if they happened to be lying in some place with a commanding lookout.
It was not very long before we struck the day-beds, which were made on a knoll, where the forest was open, and where there was much down timber. After leaving the day-beds the animals had at first fed separately around the grassy base and sides of the knoll, and had then made off in their usual single file, going straight to a small pool in the forest. After drinking they had left this pool and traveled down toward the mouth of the basin, the trail leading along the sides of the steep hill, which were dotted by open glades. Here we moved with caution, for the sign had grown very fresh, and the animals had once more scattered and begun feeding. When the trail led across the glades, we usually skirted them so as to keep in the timber.
At last, on nearing the edge of one of these glades, we saw a movement among the young trees on the other side, not fifty yards away. Peering through some thick evergreen bushes, we speedily made out three bison, a cow, a calf, and a yearling, grazing greedily on the other side of the glade. Soon another cow and calf stepped out after them. I did not wish to shoot, waiting for the appearance of the big bull which I knew was accompanying them.
So for several minutes I watched the great, clumsy, shaggy beasts, as they grazed in the open glade. Mixed with the eager excitement of the hunter was a certain half-melancholy feeling as I gazed on these bison, themselves part of the last remnant of a nearly vanished race. Few, indeed, are the men who now have, or evermore shall have, the chance of seeing the mightiest of American beasts in all his wild vigor.
At last, when I had begun to grow very anxious lest the others should take alarm, the bull likewise appeared on the edge of the glade, and stood with outstretched head, scratching his throat against a young tree, which shook violently. I aimed low, behind his shoulder, and pulled the trigger. At the crack of the rifle all the bison turned and raced off at headlong speed. The fringe of young pines beyond and below the glade cracked and swayed as if a whirlwind were passing, and in another moment the bison reached the top of a steep incline, thickly strewn with boulders and dead reckless speed; the timber. Down this they plunged with surefootedness was a marvel. A column of dust obscured their passage, and under its cover they disappeared in the forest; but the trail of the bull was marked by splashes of frothy blood, and we followed it at a trot. Fifty yards beyond the border of the forest we found the black body stretched motionless. He was a splendid old bull, still in his full vigor, with large, sharp horns, and heavy mane and glossy coat; and I felt the most exulting pride as I handled and examined him; for I had procured a trophy such as can fall henceforth to few hunters indeed.
NOTES AND QUESTIONS
Biography. Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), twenty-sixth President of the United States, was born in New York City. As a boy he was frail of body, but overcame this handicap by regular exercise and outdoor life. He was always interested in animals and birds and particularly in hunting game in the western plains and mountains. In 1884 Roosevelt bought two cattle ranches in North Dakota, where for two years he lived and entered actively into western life and spirit. Two of the books in which he has recorded his western experience: The Deer Family and The Wilderness Hunter, from the latter of which "Hunting the American Buffalo" is taken.
Discussion. 1. What makes this story "exciting," or "thrilling"? 2. How does the writer let you know his feelings? 3. What proof of Roosevelt's good sportsmanship is found in the second paragraph on page 34? 4. Class reading: From page 35, line 3, to page 36, line 13. 5. Outline for testing silent reading. Tell the story briefly, using these topics: (a) the discovery; (b) the pursuit; (c) the first view; (d) the end of the story. 6. Find in the Glossary the meaning of: day-beds; glade; skirted; yearling; trophy. 7. Pronounce: bison; boundary; frequented; knoll; melancholy; remnant; incline; strewn.
Phrases for Study pack train, hawk-eyed eagerness, frowning pine forest, commanding lookout, much frequented, down timber, thick zigzags, obscured their passage.
BIRDS AND THEIR SONGS
THE BIRDS AND I
Liberty H. Bailey
The springtime belongs to the birds and me. We own it. We know when the mayflowers and the buttercups bloom. We know when the first frogs peep. We watch the awakening of the woods. We are wet by the warm April showers. We go where we will, and we are companions. Every tree and brook and blade of grass is ours; and our hearts are full of song.
There are boys who kill the birds, and girls who want to catch them and put them into cages, and there are others who steal their eggs. The birds are not partners with them; they are only servants. Birds, like people, sing for their friends, not for their masters. I am sure that one cannot think much of the springtime and the flowers if his heart is always set upon killing or catching something. We are happy when we are free, and so are the birds.
The birds and I get acquainted all over again every spring. They have seen strange lands in the winter, and all the brooks and woods have been covered with snow. So we run and romp together, and find all the nooks and crannies which we had half-forgotten since October. The birds remember the old places. The wrens pull the sticks from the old hollow rail and seem to be wild with joy to see the place again. They must be the same wrens that were here last year, for strangers could not make so much fuss over an old rail. The bluebirds and wrens look into every crack and corner for a place in which to build, and the robins and chirping-sparrows explore every tree in the old orchard.
If the birds want to live with us, we should encourage them. The first thing to do is to leave them alone. Let them be as free from danger and fear as you and I. Take the hammer off the old gun, give pussy so much to eat that she will not care to hunt for birds, and keep away the boys who steal eggs and who carry sling-shots and throw stones. Plant trees and bushes about the borders of the place, and let some of them, at least, grow into tangles; then, even in the back yard, the wary catbird may make its home.
NOTES AND QUESTIONS
Biography. Liberty Hyde Bailey (1858-1954) has written many books on Nature and outdoor life. He was chairman of the Commission on Country Life, appointed by Roosevelt.
Discussion. 1. Why does the author say that the springtime belongs to "the birds and me"? 2. When may we say the birds are our partners and when our servants? 3. What different ways of dealing with birds are spoken of? Which way does the writer prefer? 4. How may you encourage the birds to live near you? 5. What do you gain if you persuade them to do this? Find an answer to this question in the poems that follow. 6. What birds come to trees near your home? 7. How are birds helpful to men? 8. You will find interesting stories and pictures of birds in The Burgess Bird Book for Children, Burgess. 9. Find in the Glossary the meaning of: acquainted; explore; wary. 10. Pronounce: partners; again.
THE BROWN THRUSH
There's a merry brown thrush sitting up in a tree— He's singing to me! he's singing to me! And what does he say, little girl, little boy? "Oh, the world's running over with joy! Don't you hear? Don't you see? Hush! Look! In my tree I'm as happy as happy can be!"
And the brown thrush keeps singing—"A nest do you see, And five eggs, hid by me in the juniper-tree? Don't meddle! don't touch! little girl, little boy, Or the world will lose some of its joy. Now I'm glad! Now I'm free! And I always shall be, If you never bring sorrow to me."
So the merry brown thrush sings away in the tree, To you and to me, to you and to me; And he sings all the day, little girl, little boy— "Oh, the world's running over with joy; But long it won't be, Don't you know, don't you see, Unless we're as good as can be?"
NOTES AND QUESTIONS
Biography. Lucy Larcom (1826-1893) was the daughter of a sea captain. During twenty years of teaching school, she wrote many charming poems for children.
Discussion. 1. Who is supposed to be speaking in the first two lines? 2. Who asks the question in the third line? 3. Who answers the question? 4. Find the answer to the question in the first stanza. 5. Why is the little bird so happy? 6. What will make him unhappy? 7. How can you help to make the world "run over with joy"? 8. You will enjoy hearing "Songs of Our Native Birds" and "How Birds Sing", Victor records by Kellogg.
SING ON, BLITHE BIRD
I've plucked the berry from the bush, the brown nut from the tree, But heart of happy little bird ne'er broken was by me. I saw them in their curious nests, close couching, slyly peer With their wild eyes, like glittering beads, to note if harm were near; I passed them by, and blessed them all; I felt that it was good To leave unmoved the creatures small whose home was in the wood.
And here, even now, above my head, a lusty rogue doth sing; He pecks his swelling breast and neck, and trims his little wing. He will not fly; he knows full well, while chirping on that spray, I would not harm him for a world, or interrupt his lay. Sing on, sing on, blithe bird! and fill my heart with summer gladness; It has been aching many a day with measures full of sadness!
NOTES AND QUESTIONS
Biography. William Motherwell (1797-1835), a Scotch poet and journalist, was born in Glasgow, where he lived and died. In 1830 he became editor of the Glasgow Courier. He wrote a volume of local ballads, and many of his poems were published in the magazines and newspapers.
Discussion. 1. To what does the poet compare the eyes of birds? 2. Find the lines that tell why the bird is not afraid of the poet. 3. How do you think the birds know their friends? 4. What happiness does the poet get because of his kindness to the birds? 5. Read the lines that another poet who loved birds has written about his love for them:
"He prayeth well who loveth well Both man and bird and beast.
"He prayeth best who loveth best All things both great and small; For the dear God who loveth us, He made and loveth all."
6. You will find helpful suggestions in the illustrated Farmers' Bulletins, Bird Houses and How to Build Them, and How to Attract Birds, sent free by the Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC. 7. In the Forward Look, on pages 19 and 20, you were told that the poets and wise story writers of Nature help us to see the beauty that lies in the great outdoor world. Mention instances of help that you have received from the stories and poems you have read in this group. 8. Find in the Glossary the meaning of: glittering; trims; spray; blithe; measures.
Phrases for Study: close couching, lusty rogue, note if harm were near, knows full well, leave unmoved, interrupt his lay.
THE VIOLET AND THE BEE
John Bannister Tabb
"And pray, who are you?" Said the Violet blue To the Bee, with surprise, At his wonderful size, In her eyeglass of dew. "I, madam," quoth he, "Am a publican Bee, Collecting the tax Of honey and wax. Have you nothing for me?"
NOTES AND QUESTIONS
Biography. Reverend John B. Tabb (1845-1909), a Southern poet, was born near Richmond, Virginia. All his life he was interested in birds, flowers, and outdoor life. When the Civil War began, he joined the Southern army, although he was a mere lad of sixteen. After the war he became a clergyman and a teacher.
Discussion. 1. What did the Violet ask the Bee? 2. What surprised the Violet? 3. What is the Violet's "eyeglass of dew"? 4. Find in the Glossary the meaning of: quoth; publican; tax.
I know a place where the sun is like gold, And the cherry blooms burst with snow; And down underneath is the loveliest nook, Where the four-leaf clovers grow.
One leaf is for hope, and one is for faith, And one is for love, you know; But God put another in for luck— If you search, you will find where they grow.
But you must have hope, and you must have faith; You must love and be strong; and so, If you work, if you wait, you will find the place Where the four-leaf clovers grow.
NOTES AND QUESTIONS
Biography. Ella Higginson (1862-1940), an American writer, lived in Bellingham, on Puget Sound, Washington. She won a prize of five hundred dollars, offered by a magazine for the best short story.
Discussion. 1. To whom is the four-leaf clover supposed to bring good luck? 2. Which do you think will give greater happiness, to learn something by hard work or to gain it by chance? Why do you think so? 3. What does the poem say we must have? 4. What does the poem say we must do? 5. If we have all these things and do all these things, shall we need to hunt for the four-leaf clover to bring us good fortune? Why? 6. Commit the poem to memory.
JACK IN THE PULPIT
Jack in the pulpit Preaches today, Under the green trees Just over the way. Squirrel and song-sparrow, High on their perch, Hear the sweet lily-bells Ringing to church. Come hear what his reverence Rises to say In his low, painted pulpit This calm Sabbath day.
Meek-faced anemones, Drooping and sad; Great yellow violets, Smiling out glad; Buttercups' faces, Beaming and bright; Clovers with bonnets, Some red and some white; Daisies, their white fingers Half-clasped in prayer; Dandelions, proud of The gold of their hair; Innocents, children Guileless and frail,
Meek little faces Upturned and pale; Wildwood geraniums, All in their best, Languidly leaning, In purple gauze dressed— All are assembled This sweet Sabbath day To hear what the priest In his pulpit will say.
So much for the preacher; The sermon comes next— Shall we tell how he preached it And where was his text? Alas! like too many Grown-up folks who play At worship in churches Man-builded today, We heard not the preacher Expound or discuss; But we looked at the people And they looked at us. We saw all their dresses— Their colors and shapes, The trim of their bonnets; The cut of their capes; We heard the wind-organ, The bee, and the bird, But of Jack in the pulpit We heard not a word!
NOTES AND QUESTIONS
Biography. Clara Smith is not a well-known writer, but her poem, "Jack in the Pulpit," is full of beauty. The rhythm is as pleasing as the picture is charming.
Discussion. 1. What time of year is described in this poem? 2. Who make up the congregation when Jack in the pulpit preaches? 3. How does the poet make the flowers seem like people? 4. How many of the flowers described in this poem are familiar to you? 5. Which flower is most beautifully described? Find the lines that give the description. 6. Why are we not told about the sermon? 7. What was the congregation doing during the sermon? 8. What did they see? What did they hear? 9. Find in the Glossary the meaning of: drooping; beaming; gauze; assembled; text; worship; expound. 10. Pronounce: anemones; guileless; languidly.
Phrases for Study: his reverence, all in their best, painted pulpit, man-builded today.
Helen Hunt Jackson
The goldenrod is yellow; The corn is turning brown; The trees in apple orchards With fruit are bending down.
The gentian's bluest fringes Are curling in the sun; In dusky pods the milkweed Its hidden silk has spun.
The sedges flaunt their harvest In every meadow-nook; And asters by the brookside Make asters in the brook.
From dewy lanes at morning The grapes' sweet odors rise; At noon the roads all flutter With yellow butterflies.
By all these lovely tokens September days are here, With summer's best of weather, And autumn's best of cheer.
NOTES AND QUESTIONS
Biography. Helen Hunt Jackson (1831-1885) was an American poet and novelist. She was born in Amherst, Massachusetts, where her father was a professor in Amherst College, but she spent much of her life in California. She married a banker in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she lived for a few years. Her poems are very beautiful, and "September" and "October's Bright Blue Weather" are especially good pictures of these autumn months. Every child should know these poems by heart.
Discussion. 1. What is meant by the harvest of the sedges? 2. How are the "asters in the brook" made? 3. Which lines in the last stanza tell us what September brings? 4. What things mentioned in this poem have you seen? 5. Read again what is said on pages 19 and 20 about the poet as a magician; what beauty of Nature does the poet show you in the following lines?
"And asters by the brookside Make asters in the brook."
6. Find in the Glossary the meaning of: sedges; flaunt; flutter. 7. Pronounce: gentian; dusky.
Phrases for Study: dusky pods, lovely tokens, hidden silk has spun, best of cheer.
OCTOBER'S BRIGHT BLUE WEATHER
Helen Hunt Jackson
O sun and skies and clouds of June And flowers of June together, Ye cannot rival for one hour October's bright blue weather;
When loud the bumblebee makes haste, Belated, thriftless vagrant, And goldenrod is dying fast, And lanes with grapes are fragrant;
When gentians roll their fringes tight, To save them for the morning, And chestnuts fall from satin burs Without a sound of warning;
When on the ground red apples lie In piles like jewels shining, And redder still on old stone walls Are leaves of woodbine twining;
When all the lovely wayside things Their white-winged seeds are sowing, And in the fields, still green and fair, Late aftermaths are growing;
When springs run low, and on the brooks In idle, golden freighting, Bright leaves sink noiseless in the hush Of woods, for winter waiting;
When comrades seek sweet country haunt By twos and twos together, And count like misers hour by hour October's bright blue weather.
O sun and skies and flowers of June, Count all your boasts together, Love loveth best of all the year October's bright blue weather.
NOTES AND QUESTIONS
For Biography see above.
Discussion. 1. What comparison is made in the first stanza between June and October? 2. Why is the bumblebee described as "loud"? 3. Compare the description of the goldenrod in this poem with the description of the goldenrod in "September." 4. Compare the description of the apples in this poem with the description of the apples in "September." 5. Find the line that tells why the "gentians roll their fringes tight." 6. What is the color of the woodbine leaves? 7. What are the "wayside things" usually called? 8. What do good comrades like to do in October? 9. Why are we sorry to have October go? 10. Find in the Glossary the meaning of: fragrant; twining; aftermath; haunts. 11. Pronounce: rival; vagrant; freighting.
Phrases for Study: rival for one hour, hush of woods, belated, thriftless vagrant, count like misers, satin burs, count all your boasts, idle, golden freighting.
The leaves are fading and falling; The winds are rough and wild; The birds have ceased their calling— But let me tell you, my child,
Though day by day, as it closes, Doth darker and colder grow, The roots of the bright red roses Will keep alive in the snow.
And when the winter is over, The boughs will get new leaves, The quail come back to the clover, And the swallow back to the eaves.
The robin will wear on his bosom A vest that is bright and new, And the loveliest wayside blossom Will shine with the sun and dew.
The leaves today are whirling; The brooks are all dry and dumb— But let me tell you, my darling, The spring will be sure to come.
There must be rough, cold weather, And winds and rains so wild; Not all good things together Come to us here, my child.
So, when some dear joy loses Its beauteous summer glow, Think how the roots of the roses Are kept alive in the snow.
NOTES AND QUESTIONS
Biography. Alice Cary (1820-1871), an American poet, was born in Cincinnati. She and her sister, Phoebe, wrote many beautiful poems and sketches. They removed to New York City and lived together there. "November" is one of Alice Cary's most widely known poems.
Discussion. 1. What signs of autumn are mentioned in the first stanza? 2. What signs of the coming winter are mentioned in the second stanza? 3. Where have the birds gone? 4. What is meant by the word "here" in line 4, above? 5. Why are the brooks "dry and dumb" in November? 6. Is this true in all parts of the country? 7. What are we told about the spring in "October's Bright Blue Weather"? 8. What will happen when the winter is over? 9. Where does the swallow build his nest? 10. What wonder of Nature, about which you read in A Forward Look, above, does the second stanza tell you? 11. How can the snow help keep the roots alive? 12. In what stanza is this thought repeated? 13. Find in the Glossary the meaning of: fading; quail; eaves.
Phrases for Study: ceased their calling, wayside blossom, vest that is bright, beauteous summer glow.
Lo, here hath been dawning Another blue day; Think, wilt thou let it Slip useless away?
Out of Eternity This new day is born; Into Eternity, At night, will return.
Behold it aforetime No eye ever did; So soon it forever From all eyes is hid.
Here hath been dawning Another blue day; Think, wilt thou let it Slip useless away?
NOTES AND QUESTIONS
Biography. Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) was a great Scotch writer of essays and history. He lived in Edinburgh, and later in London.
Discussion. 1. Find the lines that explain why the day is called a "new day." 2. Find the lines which remind us that the day will pass quickly. 3. The poet tells us in the first stanza to "think"; what does he want us to think about? 4. Find the same lines in another stanza. Why did the poet repeat these words? 5. Read the short story that follows, and tell whether Titus and the poet have the same, idea of a "useless" day.
The Roman Emperor, Titus, won the love of all his people by his kindness and generosity to those who were in trouble. One night at supper, remembering that he had not helped anyone that day, he exclaimed, "My friends, I have lost a day!"
Phrases for Study: behold it aforetime blue day.
THE NIGHT HAS A THOUSAND EYES
The night has a thousand eyes, And the day but one; Yet the light of the bright world dies With the dying sun.
The mind has a thousand eyes, And the heart but one; Yet the light of a whole life dies When love is done.
NOTES AND QUESTIONS
Biography. Francis William Bourdillon (1852-1921) an English poet, lived at Buddington, England. He attended college at Oxford. Few poets have written more beautiful lines than his "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes."
Discussion. 1. What are the eyes of the night? 2. What is the eye of the day? 3. How many eyes does the poet say the mind has? 4. How many eyes does he say the heart has? 5. In which line are we told what the eye of the heart is? 6. In A Forward Look, above, you read that the poet is a magician whose words open for us the fairyland of Nature; what have the words of this poet done for you? 7. Memorize the poem.
A BACKWARD LOOK
As you look backward over the animal stories you have read in this group, which did you enjoy most? Which story would be the most interesting to tell to a younger brother or sister? Which do you like better, stories in which animals are the actors, or stories about the hunting of animals?
Which one of the poems about birds has lines in it that sound like the bird's song? Which author makes you feel most keenly his love for birds? Which one tells you of pleasures that birds enjoy? Make a program for Arbor and Bird Day from selections found or suggested in this group.
In the "Notes and Questions" you have found a number of suggestions for outside reading. Did you find in the school library or public library any of the books that are mentioned in the different biographies? In your class, who has read Baker's True Tales for My Grandsons, or other selections mentioned in the biographies or elsewhere? What progress have you made in silent reading?
If you were making a blackboard calendar for each of the months—September, October, and November—what stanzas in each of the three poems on these months would give you ideas for decoration? Select a stanza from these poems as a motto for each of your calendars. November teaches Alice Caw a truth which she passes on to us; what is this truth?
On pages 19 and 20 you read that the world of Nature is a fairyland, and that the poets help us to see the beauty that lies about us. Perhaps now when you look up into a starry sky you say to yourself almost without thinking, "The night has a thousand eyes—" What other poems have revealed beauties of Nature to you?
A FORWARD LOOK
Here is matter for your entertainment. Several interesting persons will appear and will show you that a small part of the joy of reading consists in the merry tales that you may find in books. One of the English poets somewhere calls upon the spirits of fun and joy, a cheerful nymph and her companions, to drive dull care away. This poet, John Milton by name, wrote many poems and prose works on very serious matters. He lived in a serious time, the time when many Englishmen were leaving their native country and emigrating to America in order that they might find a freedom that was denied to them at home.
But even under these circumstances, sympathizing with those who went into exile for freedom, and studying night and day how he could himself advance the cause of liberty, John Milton was too great a man to believe that life is altogether serious and earnest. Humor and jesting and wholesome fun have a part in every life; they are no more to be neglected than the spices in a Thanksgiving pie. So the poet called upon the cheerful nymph and her attendants to help him see the brighter side of life; the fun that there is in foolishness, and the health that comes with a hearty laugh. Here is what he wrote:
"Haste thee, Nymph, and bring with thee Jest and youthful Jollity,
Come, and trip it, as you go, On the light, fantastic toe."
Now let us imagine that we, also, are inviting these kindly spirits of Mirth. Our lives are serious, too. We have arithmetic to learn, or we have a composition to write. People expect us to do all sorts of things that take our time, and of course we want to do these things. But here comes Laughter holding both his sides, a fat old gentleman who makes you feel merry the moment you set eyes on him. And Father Laughter first introduces the Baron Munchausen, who will tell some of his marvelous experiences. We are not compelled to believe all of them. Perhaps Father Laughter wanted to take a sly dig or two at the yarns some travelers tell when they get home. By this means the story illustrates one of the great sources of humor—monstrous exaggeration. It also shows what a foolish thing it is to be a boaster. Most people, at one time or another, are tempted to brag about their deeds, their possessions, or their smartness. If they would only think of Baron Munchausen, they would flee from this temptation.
After this comes a story about the blind men and the elephant. Here Father Laughter gets his way with you by making you see how absurd were the guesses about the elephant made by men who knew only the animal's trunk, or his tusks, or his tail. And here, too, after you have laughed heartily at the foolish fellows who were so positive that they knew everything when they knew nothing, you begin to see the danger in what are called "snap judgments." "Look at these ridiculous fellows," says Father Laughter, "and consider how silly it is to jump to a conclusion unless you have all the facts."
You will agree that Father Laughter's next performer, Darius Green, is especially interesting in these days when men fly across the Atlantic or from New York to San Francisco. Darius seems to have been the first "bird-man," and though he was absurd enough, he reminds one of the fact that many useful inventions that now add to our comfort were prepared for by men who seemed to their friends and acquaintances crazy enough.
But this is introduction a-plenty; there's really no need to keep you any longer from getting acquainted with Father Laughter and the antics he likes to play.
ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN
R. E. Raspe
The Savage Boar
Baron Munchausen had feasted his friends right well, and after supper he leaned back in his chair and said, "So you want me to tell you of my adventures in the past." His guests eagerly urged him on, and he began his story.
Once, when I was returning from a hunt, with an empty gun (having used all my ammunition), a raging wild boar rushed at me. Well, you know how unpleasant such an encounter may be, so I am sure none of you will think me a coward for hastily climbing the nearest tree; it was a young birch which could hardly bear my weight. The boar made a dash for the tree, but was a moment too late, for I had just drawn my legs out of his reach. But so violent was his rush that his tusks went through the trunk of the tree and projected an inch through the other side. I slid down the tree, picked up a stone the size of my fist, and riveted down the projecting points of the tusks. You can imagine what a narrow escape I had when I tell you that the beast weighed five tons—a good deal for a wild boar."
A Narrow Escape
"At another time, when I was hunting in Ceylon, I was terrified to see a gigantic lion approaching, with the evident intention of devouring me. My gun was only loaded with bird-shot, and I had no other about me. The savage animal shook his head several times, uttered a loud roar, and prepared to spring. I turned to flee, and—my flesh creeps even now at the recollection of it—there, on the bank of a river that lay behind me, was a huge crocodile with his terrible jaws open ready to swallow me!
"Imagine, gentlemen, the horror of my situation—before me the lion, behind me the crocodile, on my left a rushing torrent, and on the right an abyss full of poisonous snakes! I gave myself up for lost, and fell to the ground in an almost fainting condition, expecting nothing better than to meet with a horrible death from one or the other of these terrible animals.
"After waiting a few seconds I heard a violent noise, different from any that had fallen on my ears before. I ventured to raise my head, and what do you think had happened?
"The lion had, in his eagerness, jumped clean over me into the crocodile's jaws; the head of the one stuck in the throat of the other, and they were struggling to free themselves. I quickly sprang to my feet, drew out my hunting-knife, and with one blow severed the lion's head. Then, with the butt-end of my gun, I rammed the head farther into the throat of the crocodile, and destroyed him by suffocation. The hide of the crocodile, which was exactly forty feet in length, I had stuffed, and it now forms one of the chief attractions in the museum at Amsterdam, where the superintendent relates the story to all spectators, with harrowing additions.
"One of these is that the lion jumped right through the crocodile, but as soon as the head appeared, Monsieur the Famous Baron (as he is pleased to call me) cut it off, and three feet of the crocodile's tail as well, whereupon the crocodile turned round, snatched the knife out of my hand, and swallowed it so greedily that it pierced his heart and killed him!
"I need not tell you how annoyed I was by these exaggerations. In this age of doubt people who do not know me might possibly be led to disbelieve the real facts when they are mixed up with such absurd inventions.
HOW THE BARON SAVED GIBRALTAR
"Some years later I made a voyage to Gibraltar to visit my old friend, General Elliott. He received me with joy and took me for a stroll along the ramparts to examine the operations of the enemy. I had brought with me an excellent telescope, which I had purchased in Rome. Looking through it, I saw that the enemy were about to discharge a thirty-six pound cannon at the very spot where we were standing. I rushed toward our nearest cannon, a forty-eight pounder, and placed it exactly facing that of the enemy. I watched carefully till I saw the Spanish gunner apply a match to the touchhole, and then I, too, gave the word 'Fire.'
"Both reports rang out at the same instant, and the two cannon balls met halfway with amazing force. Ours, being the heavier, caused the enemy's ball to recoil with such violence as to kill the man who had discharged it; it then passed through the masts of three ships which lay in a line behind each other, and flew across the Straits of Gibraltar some miles into Africa. Our own ball, after repelling the other, proceeded on its way, dismounted the very cannon which had just been used against us, and forced it into the hold of the ship, where it fell with so much force as to break its way through the bottom. The ship immediately filled and sank, with about a thousand Spanish sailors and a large number of soldiers on board, who were all drowned.
"You can see for yourselves that this strange tale must be true, however improbable it sounds, or else how could it possibly have happened?"
NOTES AND QUESTIONS
A long time ago a book called The Travels of Baron Munchausen was written by Rudolph Erich Raspe. The tales told in this book were so extravagant that the name Munchausen is often applied to boasters. The author pretends that the stories are all strictly true.
Discussion. 1. What extravagant statements do you find in the story "The Savage Boar"? In "A Narrow Escape"? In "How the Baron Saved Gibraltar"? 2. Which of the incidents mentioned do you think is the most ridiculous? 3. What do you think of the proof given by the author to prove the truthfulness of the last story? 4. Which of the sources of humor mentioned on page 58 does this story illustrate? 5. Find in the Glossary the meaning of: boar; encounter; tusks; riveted; gigantic; abyss; severed; whereupon; exaggerations; ramparts; touchhole; recoil; repelling; dismounted; hold. 6. Pronounce: Munchausen; projected; harrowing; Monsieur.
Phrases for Study
evident intention, age of doubt, horror of my situation, absurd inventions, gave myself up for lost, operations of the enemy, harrowing additions, Straits of Gibraltar.
THE BLIND MEN AND THE ELEPHANT
John G. Saxe
It was six men of Indostan, To learning much inclined Who went to see the elephant (Though all of them were blind), That each by observation Might satisfy his mind.
The first approached the elephant, And happening to fall Against his broad and sturdy side, At once began to bawl: "God bless me! but the elephant Is very like a wall!"
The second, feeling of the tusk, Cried, "Ho! what have we here So very round and smooth and sharp? To me 'tis mighty clear This wonder of an elephant Is very like a spear!"
The third approached the animal, And happening to take The squirming trunk within his hands Thus boldly up and spake: "I see," quoth he, "the elephant Is very like a snake!"
The fourth reached out his eager hand, And felt about the knee. "What most this wondrous beast is like Is mighty plain," quoth he; "'Tis clear enough the elephant Is very like a tree!"
The fifth, who chanced to touch the ear, Said: "E'en the blindest man Can tell what this resembles most; Deny the fact who can, This marvel of an elephant Is very like a fan!"
The sixth no sooner had begun About the beast to grope, Than, seizing on the swinging tail, That fell within his scope, "I see," quoth he, "the elephant Is very like a rope!"
And so these men of Indostan Disputed loud and long, Each in his own opinion Exceeding stiff and strong, Though each was partly in the right, And all were in the wrong!
NOTES AND QUESTIONS
Biography. John Godfrey Saxe (1816-1887), an American poet, was born in Vermont. He is best known by his humorous poems, of which "The Blind Men and the Elephant" is most widely read.
Discussion. 1. How could blind men "see" the elephant? 2. To what did each compare the elephant? 3. Explain the comparison each made. 4. Why is comparison a common way of describing objects? 5. Point out instances of its use by other authors in this book. 6. Why were these blind men all "in the wrong"? 7. How far was each "in the right"? 8. What makes this poem humorous? 9. What may we learn from this story? 10. Find in the Glossary the meaning of: learning; observation; approached; bawl; wonder; resembles; marvel; grope; disputed; stiff. 11. Pronounce: sturdy; wondrous; scope.
Phrases for Study
much inclined, eager hand, satisfy his mind, within his scope.
DARIUS GREEN AND HIS FLYING-MACHINE
JOHN TOWNSEND TROWBRIDGE
If ever there lived a Yankee lad, Wise or otherwise, good or bad, Who, seeing the birds fly, didn't jump With flapping arms from stake or stump, Or, spreading the tail Of his coat for a sail, Take a soaring leap from post or rail, And wonder why He couldn't fly, And flap and flutter and wish and try— If ever you knew a country dunce Who didn't try that as often as once, All I can say is, that's a sign He never would do for a hero of mine.
An aspiring genius was D. Green; The son of a farmer—age fourteen. His body was long and lank and lean— Just right for flying, as will be seen; He had two eyes, each bright as a bean, And a freckled nose that grew between, A little awry—for I must mention That he had riveted his attention Upon his wonderful invention, Twisting his tongue as he twisted the strings, Working his face as he worked the wings, Arid with every turn of gimlet and screw Turning and screwing his mouth round, too, Till his nose seemed bent To catch the scent, Around some corner, of new-baked pies, And his wrinkled cheeks and his squinting eyes Grew puckered into a queer grimace, That made him look very droll in the face, And also very wise.